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View Full Version : The King bid is dead but for how long we cannot say



broxloyal
29-11-2014, 03:41
The Rangers story rumbles on, the gaudy prospect of financial meltdown distracting observers from even a backward glance in the rear-view mirror. The news that £8m is needed to keep the lights on keeps minds focused on the present.

The question of how it all came to this may have to have its answer in court. Recent history, though, can be assessed with some accuracy.

The failure of Dave King's attempt to take over Rangers is crucial not only to the future direction of the club but also has a further, significant impact. It is this: King gathered expert advisors and galvanised a section of the support. The legacy of King's failure to gain any power at Ibrox is that some are now not only disillusioned but highly reluctant to attach themselves to any renewed moves by the South African businessman.

However, the idea that King may have no further role in the Rangers story may not stand up to scrutiny.

A chronicle of his interest in Rangers proves an instructive history of what has gone on at the club over the past nine months leading up to Thursday's announcement of the £8.3m loss to June this year. Auditors have included an emphasis of matter paragraph, highlighting that there is "material uncertainty on the group's ability to continue as a going concern".

This has always been King's contention and it has informed the choices he has made when addressing the task of changing the power base at Ibrox.

At an early stage in his attempt to force regime change, King told an advisor: "I will just sit here until they run out of money and they will have no place to go. They will have to come to me." He was consistently told this would not happen. It did not happen. But can it now?

The King involvement must be examined as it charts the course to where Rangers stand now and what options are available to the club in what can now be soberly described as a battle for survival.

King, of course, was always on the periphery of the Rangers story but he took centre stage in March when he came to Glasgow to meet the Ibrox board and canvassed for both financial and popular support.

A series of meetings was held and he headed back to South Africa. However, he left behind a time bomb for the Ibrox board. His move to set up a trust fund for season ticket money could be seen as highly unsuccessful as it was never formed, instead a website gathered support from disaffected fans.

But it had an effect that it was part of a climate that reduced season ticket sales. Shortly after King flew out, David Somers, the Rangers chairman, criticised the move on season tickets as the club released interim financial results for the last six months of 2013, showing a £3.5m pre-tax loss.

King ramped up his offensive in a series of interviews, pledging that he could underwrite a share issue personally to the sum of £30m, perhaps even £50m.

Rangers, meanwhile, were looking at an unsustainable future, despite the protestations of directors. Briefly, season ticket revenue was down and costs were outstripping income. As the figures released on Thursday show, this basic business problem has not been addressed with any success.

It was then that instead of a King putsch there was a Mike Ashley manoeuvre. The sportswear billionaire had, of course, bought shares at the initial public offering. He had a merchandising contract in place. He has the crest.

At the beginning of August, there were leaks that Rangers needed money and that Ashley was prepared to provide it in loans. The Newcastle United owner, routinely and accurately described as a billionaire, was ready to flex his muscles.

In early August, there was a meeting to step up the King move to bring change to Rangers. George Letham, who had given Rangers a £1m crisis loan, Paul Murray, a former board member who was now allied to King, were present, as were others.

The Herald understands it was agreed to try to raise money to make a public, formal offer for the 26% Beaufort stake in Rangers, controlled by the Easdale brothers. The next step was to approach the Park family who own the coach company and car dealerships.

A source close to this development said this meeting took "the best part of a month" to set up. It is not known what occurred at that meeting but the buying of the Beaufort shares was never pursued in any meaningful sense.

The next move was for King to have talks with Graham Wallace, chief executive of Rangers, Philip Nash, director, and Norman Crighton, non-executive director. Paul Murray and Letham were present at these discussions.

The plan was to persuade the board to recommend a share issue whereby King would put in £8m and what could be called the Murray-Letham consortium put in a further £8m.

Rangers, meanwhile, were desperately seeking a saviour but King consistently refused to see Ashley as a threat to his ambitions.

Instead, the English businessman was presented with an open goal. As Somers subsequently explained, the Ashley loan could be taken because the rival Brian Kennedy bid carried a higher level of interest and demanded more security. There are mutterings about both these claims but Somers has issued a statement reinforcing them.

The King-Murray-Letham consortium was dismissed over what was described as a failure to provide proof of funds.

There has been much shouting since in terms of statements and counter statements.

Three interesting elements have emerged. First, that Paul Murray was prepared to sit on the board as part of the Kennedy deal. Second, that King has revealed he did not want to oust Sandy Easdale, the football board chairman, from Ibrox.

The third is that King and his allies believe they never had a chance. On October 23, they believed they had an agreement in principle with Easdale to have some power in exchange for investment. They needed Easdale on board because the brothers have control over 26% of shares and 75% is needed to approve a shares issue. The half-back line of Easdales, Ashley and Laxey hold 51%.

But as King headed to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid, he believed he had a deal in his grasp. Within 24 hours he was disabused of this, with telephone calls informing him that Rangers would take a loan from Ashley.

This series of events has led to Ashley gaining an extraordinary influence at Ibrox, particularly for someone owning about 9% of shares. They are also history.

So why does it matter now?

It is clear King failed in this approach. He also contributed to a significant level of disillusionment among fans who can be best described as activists in attempting to change the structure at the club. This could impact on any renewed attempt by him to gain power at Ibrox.

But the developments also give an insight into the motives of Ashley. He has not, nor will not, make his intentions clear but he has to safeguard the merchandising deal that he has with club. The drip of loans means the clubs survives, strips can sold.

But it is not a long-term strategy. Ashley has to find a coherent plan that does not just involve cutting costs but includes ushering in a period of stability. Does he have the will to dedicate a significant chunk of time to something that is relatively modest in terms of income to a man worth £4bn?

So what will he do next?" Whatever he wants," was the brisk reply from a City source last night who has rued his investment in Rangers.

The City source suggested that Ashley may decide that he is willing to share some of the burden of restructuring a club, forming a scouting network, refurbishing the stadium and building a team to compete at the top level of Scottish sport. This was the view, too, of a major financial player close to the Rangers story.

There may be some conjecture of what precisely is Ashley's vision for the club. There can be no doubt that he does not like what he sees, though. History tells us that Ashley is always prepared to make a deal. Does that include returning to suitors to see what they have to offer?

King has been dismissed as a "tyre kicker" whose reluctance to buy shares was fatal to any successful strategy. There may be truth in some of this but it would be foolish to rule out a return to the table by the former Rangers director.

The jostling for power has not stopped.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/the-king-bid-is-dead-but-for-how-long-we-cannot-say.25998604?

blu14evr
29-11-2014, 04:04
Interesting summary, though it doesnt quite join up all the dots

laudrup2004
29-11-2014, 04:26
Teasing hint of Ashley/King alignment?

Rickymck
29-11-2014, 07:58
They can say all they want, about who they want but until there is any sort of deal it needs to have some sort of a plan and proposed way forward or I am still out! We have been stumbled along blaming lack of money but no strategy is the killer here!

old bluebell
29-11-2014, 08:46
"I will just sit here until they run out of money and they will have no place to go. They will have to come to me."
how that would have worked if we had a resolute support and not one which in the main has fed these sharks , if we had been unified it might have meant a a bit more pain but they would have been long gone , don't matter that it was with the best of intentions , but those who have continually supported the WIGS have damaged OUR beloved club to the max so frustrating

Grandmaster_Suck
29-11-2014, 08:49
Except it ain't dead.

bigfc
29-11-2014, 08:57
Not sure if I am picking this up correctly but it looks like there was a chance to pick up the Easdale block of shares. If that was the case then a significant opportunity was missed

jvdh
29-11-2014, 09:01
"a city source suggested" " a major financial player, close to the Rangers story"

Most Bears are now sick to the back teeth of this sh!te.

These words are journalist licence for "I can make up a load of pish and justify it with meaningless terminology"

masterblue
29-11-2014, 09:07
So the story from the Louden has some substance?

Icily Cool
29-11-2014, 09:48
King's offer remains on the table

scottyboy_1
29-11-2014, 09:54
Except it ain't dead.

Ive been battering on about this on various threads, keep the faith and dont swallow what the media is feeding you!!

le bluebear
29-11-2014, 09:56
Something has to give sooner rather than later which will be in our favour.

It can't rumble on like this forever.

rossgers
29-11-2014, 09:58
I've got to the stage where I don't believe any of this shit. Oh, for an impartial, summary of the facts from an untainted publication rather than an attempt to influence supporters opinion and actions.

jimbo 08
29-11-2014, 09:59
So the story from the Louden has some substance?

I believe Marshal 100% on this
If his source is who i believe it to be , hes bang on with his story

Mason Boyne
29-11-2014, 10:00
So Ashley wants King involved?
Let's see then, Rangers earn next to F all from merchandise, they do earn F all from catering, so just how in fecks name is King meant to fund the club? ST's apart, programme sales is all the income scource we have.

ady mac
29-11-2014, 10:01
Ive been battering on about this on various threads, keep the faith and dont swallow what the media is feeding you!!

its ok saying this but without the proper info most of us take it with a pinch of salt .

The Big Cheese
29-11-2014, 10:12
You can't have two bulls in the same field.

Baloo72
29-11-2014, 10:19
Not a bad summary to be honest

HobJo
29-11-2014, 10:28
Ashley didn't but public shares, he bought penny shares pre IPO. Other than that, an interesting article which makes a fair bit of sense

HobJo
29-11-2014, 10:30
You can't have two bulls in the same field.

Ashley doesn't want to own Rangers, I think that much is pretty clear

The Big Cheese
29-11-2014, 10:31
Ashley doesn't want to own Rangers, I think that much is pretty clear

He wants,and has control.

Dave King wants control.

scottyboy_1
29-11-2014, 10:33
its ok saying this but without the proper info most of us take it with a pinch of salt .

But at the same time the info people get is limited and only to keep us in the loop! Its a case of trusting who to believe I suppose and the strike rate of the info

yarrumdavid01
29-11-2014, 10:57
The answer is really simple. Starve the Wigs of cash as King has said again and again. We are operating at a huge loss still and have put out the begging bowl. Why is the Easdales not providing loans against assets? Are Rangers going to go back to Ashely every 6 months for £3m to keep the lights on - also what about next year if we are back in the SPL, we will need to buy a full new team complete with higher wages. Total cash cow here and there would be no return for anyone investing - King and his partners are prepared to invest for the love of the club, no one else is.

sherbrook_loyal
29-11-2014, 11:35
Something has to give sooner rather than later which will be in our favour.

It can't rumble on like this forever.

This, and the thought of a new Star Wars movie, is the only thing keeping me going.

We can't go on receiving bad news indefinitely.

braveheartxxxxx
29-11-2014, 11:38
Ibrox and Murray Park will be secured against loans for the £8M then they might allow King to the table.

HobJo
29-11-2014, 11:43
He wants,and has control.

Dave King wants control.

My point is Ashley doesn't want to spend too much to serve the deal. He wants control with minimal investment. There's clearly the basis for negotiation with King IF Ashley isn't after something more and it's really hard to believe Ashley would want the negative publicity of asset stripping one of the world's most famous clubs

braveheartxxxxx
29-11-2014, 11:47
My point is Ashley doesn't want to spend too much to serve the deal. He wants control with minimal investment. There's clearly the basis for negotiation with King IF Ashley isn't after something more and it's really hard to believe Ashley would want the negative publicity of asset stripping one of the world's most famous clubs

Ashley couldn't give a ****.....he's a minted chap with a skin like Teflon.

The Big Cheese
29-11-2014, 11:50
My point is Ashley doesn't want to spend too much to serve the deal. He wants control with minimal investment. There's clearly the basis for negotiation with King IF Ashley isn't after something more and it's really hard to believe Ashley would want the negative publicity of asset stripping one of the world's most famous clubs

See post 27.

These people will never cede control to King.

simplythechamps
29-11-2014, 11:55
Everyone is guessing what Ashley will do next as he is playing his cards very close to his chest in the same way as normal.

My guess is he has put himself into a position of control just now to improve his negotiating position on his retail contracts with whoever takes control in the long term and to avoid insolvency while a long term solution is found. If he had appetite to own the club he would but over the next few years it's clearly a black hole to pour money down after which it will probably break even so why would he?

The only logical outcome is Ashley and King working together, King wants to pour money into that black hole to get us competitive and to break even, Ashley wants his retail contracts.

It's the only way either of them can win.

BeardyBear
29-11-2014, 11:58
Ashley couldn't give a ****.....he's a minted chap with a skin like Teflon.

He's loaded for a reason. I have no personal experience of the man and I think he's a ****, but there's no evidence to suggest Ashley is an idiot and at least some to suggest he isn't. The money Ashley would make from asset stripping surely isn't anywhere near what he'd make in the long run off the back of a successful, well supported Rangers. If it's the best way to make money he's after then you have to think that getting Rangers to the stage where strips and merchandise are flying off the shelves would be the best way to go.

But then nothing these bastards have done so far has been anything but seeking the quick, easy buck. As much as I'd like to think Ashley would be smart enough to target the longer-term, more profitable solution I have to admit I'm not particularly hopeful.

williewoodburn
29-11-2014, 12:04
IMO something will have to be in place for the January transfer window.

Several new signings are essential to allow a proper push for promotion and put in place the building blocks for the top league.

The alternative doesnt bear thinking about...the spectre of play-offs and 10 or so relatively dysfunctional first team regulars out of contract in the Summer.

williewoodburn
29-11-2014, 12:09
My point is Ashley doesn't want to spend too much to serve the deal. He wants control with minimal investment. There's clearly the basis for negotiation with King IF Ashley isn't after something more and it's really hard to believe Ashley would want the negative publicity of asset stripping one of the world's most famous clubs

A retail firm trying to sell sporting goods to a worldwide customer base, at the same time as running down a famous sporting institution.

It hardly adds up does it.

Cmon tae feck Mike....speak up, tell us your plans. You can change the mood on here with a snap of your fingers.

Baloo72
29-11-2014, 12:32
IMO something will have to be in place for the January transfer window.

Several new signings are essential to allow a proper push for promotion and put in place the building blocks for the top league.

The alternative doesnt bear thinking about...the spectre of play-offs and 10 or so relatively dysfunctional first team regulars out of contract in the Summer.

Mate we will not be able to keep the lights on


New players? :blink:

cambridgeblue
29-11-2014, 12:34
The Sport Direct Brand must be made as toxic as possible.

Valley Bluenose
29-11-2014, 12:39
Ultimately, I suspect, Ashley would agree to let King in - provided that, in exchange, he got an extension to his 'onerous' retail contract.

Also, it may be that behind his efforts to own - rather than control for the duration of his retail contract - Rangers IP rights (badge etc) is that his ownership would extend in perpetuity unless someone bought the rights off him again. A change of ownership at the Club would still see him retain the IP ownership and all that goes with it.

Finally, as we all focus on Ashley we risk taking our eyes off the Beaufort Group, whom Easdale represents. We still don't know Ashley's links to them - if there are any beyond the retail deal - but they still remain the most powerful group of shareholders at the Club, with a decisive say in what goes on. And we still don't know who they are.

williewoodburn
29-11-2014, 12:39
Mate we will not be able to keep the lights on


New players? :blink:

We are in Ashley's hands.

He could pay Glasgow's electricity bill for the year if he wanted.

For now the only glimmer of hope I have is its better to be run by a wig with money than by one without.

January will tell us a lot.

The Big Cheese
29-11-2014, 12:45
We are in Ashley's hands.

He could pay Glasgow's electricity bill for the year if he wanted.

For now the only glimmer of hope I have is its better to be run by a wig with money than by one without.

January will tell us a lot.

January will merely confirm what we already know.

Ashley doesn't invest,he lends.

Any money raised via a share issue will be used to meet ongoing operating costs.

We will not buy any players in January but we may possibly lose a couple.

To pin your hopes on Ashley investing is,quite frankly,ludicrous.

The Lone Sniper
29-11-2014, 13:01
IMO something will have to be in place for the January transfer window.

Several new signings are essential to allow a proper push for promotion and put in place the building blocks for the top league.

The alternative doesnt bear thinking about...the spectre of play-offs and 10 or so relatively dysfunctional first team regulars out of contract in the Summer.

We are being prepared for the sale of MacLeod; we are downsizing and will not be making signings.

We have no money. Again.

JohnnyReb
29-11-2014, 13:05
The answer is really simple. Starve the Wigs of cash as King has said again and again. We are operating at a huge loss still and have put out the begging bowl. Why is the Easdales not providing loans against assets? Are Rangers going to go back to Ashely every 6 months for £3m to keep the lights on - also what about next year if we are back in the SPL, we will need to buy a full new team complete with higher wages. Total cash cow here and there would be no return for anyone investing - King and his partners are prepared to invest for the love of the club, no one else is.

I don't think anymore cash loans will be coming from the Ashley camp if the story that the cash he already loaned is the monies he withheld from the retail department. In effect, hasn't loaned us any money from his own pocket, and I don't think he intends doing so.

Baloo72
29-11-2014, 13:08
Nothing to add really

We are selling we need money

MASH will give us money but it will cost our soul

williewoodburn
29-11-2014, 13:15
January will merely confirm what we already know.

Ashley doesn't invest,he lends.

Any money raised via a share issue will be used to meet ongoing operating costs.

We will not buy any players in January but we may possibly lose a couple.

To pin your hopes on Ashley investing is,quite frankly,ludicrous.


So we fall back on the promised Easdale millions ?

King doesnt seem to be the answer.
The monthly loans aren't sustainable.
A public share offering of 8m that will be gone before the new season starts wont do anything long term

The cards we have on the table are stacked in favour of Ashley.
Like it or not, we are in his hands.
Something has to give in January as another year in the second league is unthinkable !

williewoodburn
29-11-2014, 13:19
We are being prepared for the sale of MacLeod; we are downsizing and will not be making signings.

We have no money. Again.

That sadly, has 'no promotion' written all over it.

On the bright side I suppose it will feck up those straining for our return.

braveheartxxxxx
29-11-2014, 13:19
The Sport Direct Brand must be made as toxic as possible.

That just isn't going to happen. It's a hugely popular chain, and one set of fans boycotting it really won't touch the sides.

Gordy61
29-11-2014, 13:22
One way or another I still have faith that DK will be back involved with us.

revsween
29-11-2014, 13:24
If King manages to get his feet under the table Ibrox would be roofed out, if he keeps getting knocked back attendances will dwindle away to a few thousand and we'll face admin again. Ashley will know this but what his end game is I really don't know.

simplythechamps
29-11-2014, 13:25
He's loaded for a reason. I have no personal experience of the man and I think he's a ****, but there's no evidence to suggest Ashley is an idiot and at least some to suggest he isn't. The money Ashley would make from asset stripping surely isn't anywhere near what he'd make in the long run off the back of a successful, well supported Rangers. If it's the best way to make money he's after then you have to think that getting Rangers to the stage where strips and merchandise are flying off the shelves would be the best way to go.

But then nothing these bastards have done so far has been anything but seeking the quick, easy buck. As much as I'd like to think Ashley would be smart enough to target the longer-term, more profitable solution I have to admit I'm not particularly hopeful.


A successful well run Rangers would require a massive initial investment then at best could get to break even or say a couple of million a year in profit. So Ashley could maybe recoup his investment over 20 years if lucky, do you think he's interested in that?